U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly delayed potential lawsuits against Apple and Google over antitrust concerns due to financial complications following the collapse of President Joe Biden’s social spending bill, Politico reports.
Citing two people familiar with the matter, the report notes that DOJ’s decision on going to court is likely to come in March or later “because of continued discussions about where to file and who will make the call.” Another major concern for the department is the likely expense of a court battle with the two tech giants.
DOJ is also weighing what antitrust cases can move forward with its current funding, although the decisions will be based on legal merits, the sources said.
DOJ ethics officials haven’t yet determined whether Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Jonathan Kanter must recuse himself from those cases because of his previous work for critics of the two companies, they said.
Either case would be expensive. Texas alone will require $43 million to pursue its piece of the multistate antitrust suit against Google, state Attorney General Ken Paxton has told legislators.
The department has been investigating Google’s advertising technology business and Apple’s App Store since 2019.